Basic Trendy

The Undying Love of Dr. Carl Tanzler

The Undying Love of Dr. Carl Tanzler

In October of 1931, a 21-year-old woman named Elena Milagro de Hoyos lost her battle with tuberculosis, but that didn’t halt her doctor, Carl Tanzler, with his ambitions of being together with her. In the procedure of trying to save Elena, he fell deeply in love with her.

For 2 whole years, the doctor would make daily visits to her grave, which he paid for, at the mausoleum at the Key West cemetery in Florida. Elena’s family guessed it was nothing more than a doctor who was overcome with sadness in not being able to save a youthful patient. They had no idea.

In 1933, 2 years after Elena’s demise, the doctor, under the cover of darkness, removed Elena’s body from the mausoleum and transported it via a toy wagon to a makeshift laboratory he had built inside of an old airplane. There, he “resurrected” his lost love with the assistance of paper mache, mortician’s wax, and rags. He placed glass eyes in her vacant sockets and inserted wires into her limbs so that he could handily manipulate her posture. He masked the body’s stench with perfumes and clothing he purchased for her. Upon closer inspection, investigators discovered a carefully placed cardboard tube in Elena’s genital region, the use of which is best left to the imagination.

Pic: Wikipedia


He kept her decaying body for 7 years at his home- dancing with her by the fire, saving her a seat at the dinner table even sleeping next to her.

He would be discovered when Elena’s sister came over to check on him and make sure he was OK, as he had quit coming to visit her sister’s tomb. Instead, to her horror and shock, she discovered her sister’s body, virtually a wax mannequin by this point, laying in Tanzler’s bed. She instantly informed authorities.

He would see the courtroom in 1940, for “wantonly and maliciously demolishing a grave and removing a body without authorization,” but the charges were ultimately dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. When queried during the hearing, Tanzler disclosed plans to finish the airship that would transport Elena’s corpse “high into the stratosphere, so that radiation from outer space could penetrate Elena’s tissues and restore life to her somnolent form.”


Though the case turned into a media circus, the general public was surprisingly emotional toward the demented doctor. Instead of a depraved necrophiliac, they saw him as an alone and sad romantic.

Share if you like it